Raising money for youth sports teams can be stressful. No one likes asking for money. But organizing and hosting fundraisers can also be a great learning experience for young players. These activities teach players valuable lessons about hard work and responsibility, and fundraising gets parents more involved and makes everyone a stakeholder in the soccer program’s success.
Our team at Trace works with high school teams and clubs around the country, and we’re always surprised at the creative ways that teams pay to use our game film system. Here are some of the best ideas we have heard for raising money for soccer teams.
These tend to be some of the most popular fundraisers for youth soccer teams. And they are also very easy to organize. Place the coach as the soccer goalkeeper and have athletes and their family members try to score a goal. Organizers can charge anywhere from $1 to $10 (or more!) for 3 kicks. Business owners from the community donate prizes to incentivize people to take their shot at scoring a goal on the coach.
Local Business Sponsorships
Local businesses love sponsoring youth soccer teams. For a local business, sponsoring youth soccer is a way to gain exposure while promoting an activity that has a positive impact on the community. With sponsorships, teams and clubs can lighten the financial burden for parents and provide players with the latest tools for player development.
Finding a sponsor is typically not a difficult process when coaches outsource some of the work to parents. Parents who own or manage businesses are often the most eager to sponsor teams, and parents are also fantastic resources in getting introductions to other potential sponsors from their own networks.
Put together a sponsorship tier system and be open to allowing local businesses to have promotional opportunities in exchange for funds that will help the team (if Arsenal allows Fly Emirates to be emblazoned on every jersey, you can sell an arm sponsorship to a local business). For instance, bringing in $500 might allow the sponsor’s logo to be placed on the team’s marketing materials and website, while a bigger donation of $5,000 could get a logo on the team uniforms as well.
All parents want their children to have access to the latest resources, but not every parent can afford to provide large donations for big-ticket items. Soliciting donations from parents is a touchy process that will differ from team to team, but the best policy in all cases is to honestly outline the financial needs of your team and ask parents to contribute what they can (here’s a sample letter).
Some parents are willing to sponsor specific items. We often work with teams who have a Game Film Sponsor. This individual personally pays for the team to use Trace for the year; in return, all parents on the team get priceless video highlights of their child delivered after each game.
Weekly Game Updates (With a Link to Donate)
Soccer teams are constantly impressing us with innovative ways of crafting newsletters. Often, soccer clubs link to their players’ Trace iDs so parents can watch video highlights and save memories of their child’s matches. These newsletters double as fundraising opportunities. Some teams have “newsletter sponsors,” and others have donation buttons included in the email so that parents, grandparents, or others can send in small donations to support the team.
Many teams host special fundraising drives when people are feeling the spirit of giving. Here’s a sample message from a Trace team that hosted a Christmas fundraising event: ‘Tis the season of giving, there is no set minimum “gift” amount on this, $1 or $100 is equally appreciated! Remember the boys will benefit from every penny! So if you don’t know what to get your soccer player nephew / grandson / son / brother / friend on the team, forget a new pair of socks! Put your money toward something AWESOME!”
Note: We have also heard stories of parents giving coaches Trace as a Christmas present so that coaches can save time on video editing and get automatic highlights for every player.
Sell Vendor Space at Games
For local businesses, soccer games and tournaments are an excellent way to gain visibility, so most businesses would pay a fee or sponsor a team to have the opportunity to sell their goods to the parents attending the events.
Host an Event
Events are the most popular way to raise money for youth soccer teams, and there are infinite types of events that players can host. In-person are often fun for players and great ways to build character. Events are also a great way to get parents collaborating and to keep them engaged and excited about the team. Here are just a few soccer fundraising events:
- Car Washes
- BBQs / Potlucks
- Silent Auctions